Champagne Review: Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Constellation

Laurent-Perrier has crafted one of the most visually imaginative metal jackets for the holiday season. Recently launched, this limited edition is a reflection of the attention to detail that goes into producing this cuvée rosé.

The Constellation offers an alluring raspberry color, powerful and quite intense with red fruit notes; very fresh and structured; robust with a lovely savory dimension; fine bubbles. Impressive!

Undeniably, this cuvée rosé will appeal to Champagne enthusiasts, with a sublime touch to serving this holiday season.

93/100 Points

Moët Hennessy partners with LCBO to create exclusive experiences

Moët Hennessy Canada announced today the launch of the Luxury Discovery Suite, the first dedicated luxury champagnes, wines, and spirits shopping pop-up experience of its kind. Created in collaboration with the LCBO, this exceptional pop-up experience will be located at the Summerhill location from November 14th to December 8th, 2018.

Accessible to LCBO customers, the Luxury Discovery Suite is a lifestyle destination offering guests an exceptional experience with some of the most prestigious products offered at the LCBO. From everyday essentials to exceptional gifts, customers will discover everything they need to know about entertaining ahead of the busy holiday season with free tastings and exclusive dinners hosted by Moët Hennessy leadership.

“At Moët Hennessy we are always looking for ways to offer our customers exciting and exclusive experiences,” says Alexis de Calonne, Managing Director, Moët Hennessy Canada. “There is something very special about entertaining during the holiday season. We are thrilled to launch the first Luxury Discovery Suite with the LCBO to bring the magic of our brands to customers.”

“We are excited to partner with Moët Hennessy on this exclusive retail partnership,” says Carolyn O’Grady Gold, Vice President, Merchandising, LCBO. “These iconic global brands are perfect to help our customers create memorable moments this holiday season.”

The Luxury Discovery Suite will open to the public on Wednesday, November 14th and run until Friday, December 8th, 2018. Customers can sign up for exclusive brand tastings and purchase tickets for dinners with House representatives by visiting www.lcbo.com/LDS. Space is limited.

SCHEDULE
November 15th: Hennessy dinner hosted by Bernard Peillon, President Hennessy Cognac
November 22nd: Glenmorangie dinner hosted by Ruaraidh MacIntyre, Brand Manager
November 30th: Estates & Wines dinner hosted by Margareth Henriquez, President Estates & Wines
December 5th: Dom Pérignon dinner hosted by Alexis de Calonne, General Manager, Moët Hennessy Canada.

COMPLIMENTARY TASTING SCHEDULE
November 14th: Moët & Chandon
November 17th: Estates & Wines – Cloudy Bay
November 21st: Glenmorangie Extra-Mature Range
November 24th: Glenmorangie 18-Year-Old and Glenmorangie Signet
November 28th: Veuve Clicquot
December 1st: Ruinart Champagne
December 6th: Hennessy VSOP
December 7th: Hennessy XO

PAID TASTING SCHEDULE
November 14-18: Moët & Chandon MCIII / Paradis Imperial / Hennessy XO / VSOP / Belvedere
November 19-25: Krug Grand Cuvée 166ème Edition / Glenmorangie Signet / Quinta Ruban / Nectar’dor / Lasanta / 18 year old
November 26-2: Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame / Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old / Ardbeg Corryvrecken / Ardbeg Uigeadal
December 3-8 Dom Pérignon / Dom Pérignon P2 / Hennessy Master Blender Edition #3 / Hennessy VSOP / Hennessy 200 year old

Champagne’s Trade Shares Continue to Rise

Champagne’s trade share has risen from 1% to 8% by value in the past eight years,

Champagne’s trade share has risen from 1% to 8% by value in the past eight years, with the number of unique Champagnes trading having multiplied in the same time frame, according to a recent report.

Between 2008 and 2014, the champagne region’s overall trade share hovered between 1-3% by value. So far in 2018, it has contributed 8% of market activity, up from 6.2% last year, according to Lev-ex latest “Champagne Report.”

The number of unique labels trading has risen from fewer than 20 different Champagne labels traded on the market in 2008 to stand at 140 so far this year, with the market thus having grown in both depth and breadth, stated the report.

The report further indicates that Champagne, which has long been an on-trade favourite, had in recent years also established itself as a key player in the secondary market for fine wine.

“Champagne is a unique product among its fine wine peers. Its distribution network is unparalleled, the environments that it exists in are diverse – restaurants, nightclubs, royal weddings – and brand recognition is stronger than in any other part of the market.’

“Mentions of Dom Perignon will likely spark far more excitement than the top names of Burgundy and Bordeaux among non-wine experts. Champagne, therefore, touches drinkers not typically engaged with fine wine, and on a global scale.”

In addition, the report said the Champagne 50 Index had steadily risen almost every year for the past decade, with no sharp upward or downward movements, having only dipped in one year out of the past ten.

“Champagne has occupied its own niche in the fine wine market, undisturbed by some of the major events that unsettled Bordeaux, and not afforded the level of recent attention that has seen prices of Burgundy spike.”

Non-vintage Champagne accounts for the majority of the region’s production, but the vintage category dominates the secondary market.

“The fungibility and, hence, seemingly endless supply of non-vintage Champagne makes it an unwise investment choice, as supply will never diminish in the same way as for vintage wines. It is for this reason that vintage Champagne accounts for 95% of the region’s secondary market activity.”

In terms of price, all of the Champagne 50 sub-indices have increased over the past 10 years.

Salon, which has declared the fewest vintages, has considerably outperformed the broader index, with a gain of 163%, according to the report, with Philipponnat, Krug and Dom Pérignon having tracked, yet slightly underperformed the Champagne 50, gaining 63%, 60% and 61% respectively.

The Cristal index has risen by 40% in the last decade, with movement predominantly occurring in the past two years.

When it comes to Champagne vintages, age stands out as the most important price determinant. Prices tend to plateau for the first few years after release, then gradually appreciate.

Unlike Bordeaux, critic scores did not appear to impact the price significantly, except in examples of extreme quality. Bottle formats and the colour of the wine (white/rosé) also contributed to its price performance over time, stated the report.

The report also revealed that there was “no hard and fast rule” about how Champagnes in different bottle sizes perform in the secondary market.

At release, larger formats often commanded a 10-20% premium on standard bottles for the equivalent volume of wine. Currently, magnums from the Champagne 50 traded at an average of 50% above their 75cl siblings, rising to just over 100% for jeroboams, it said.

However, market conditions and consumer taste could lead to a “dramatic shift” in the relative value of big bottles.

“For instance, the premium for jeroboams has drifted significantly in the last ten years. In 2007, jeroboams of Cristal 1999 traded at a premium of 330%, falling to 148% in 2017.”

It was possible to reach two conclusions from this – first, ostentatious displays of wealth had moved on since the financial crisis; second, and “most importantly”, purchasing bigger bottles for investment purposes carried more of downside risk, it said.

Emmanuel Macron Opens Presidential Wine Cellar to Public

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time

France’s Elysée Palace has officially opened its doors to its wine cellar first time this past weekend as part of a bid by President Emmanuel Macron to promote national heritage.

There were 350 members of the public who toured the cavernous cellar which houses 14,000 bottles, from all the wine growing regions of France.

“This is the first time we’ve opened the cellar to the public,” Virginie Routis, the Elysée’s sommelier for the past 11 years, told Europe 1 radio.

The three-meter high vaulted cellar is two floors below ground level and keeps a plethora of fine wines and spirits, from cognac to top champagnes, at an ideal temperature of 13 degrees Celsius.

The also cellar contains prestigious vintages such as Cheval Blanc, Latour, and Puligny-Montrachet. Its oldest bottle is said to be a 1906 Sauternes.

“The wine is chosen according to the menu. I make a selection…Madame and Monsieur Macron also get to approve the choice. We really have to represent French gastronomy, so you have to choose wines that speak to a given foreign delegation,” she said.

The cellar was designed in 1947. During Jacques Chirac’s presidency in 2013, some 1,200 bottles were auctioned off as the quantities were too small to serve at official dinners.

Unlike his teetotal predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Macron is quite knowledgeable on French wines and has confessed to drinking a glass of wine at lunch and dinner.

He has chosen to open the cellars as part of France’s annual Heritage Days, where numerous state and listed buildings are exceptionally opened to the public.

Champagne Mumm Launches Zero-Gravity Bottle Design

It took three years of research and experimentation to develop Mumm Grand

It took three years of research and experimentation to develop Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar, the first champagne designed to be tasted in space. For this world premiere, Maison Mumm symbolically chose to fly over the vineyards of Reims to present its innovation during a zero-gravity flight.

Science Serving Champagne

Maison Mumm’s goal was to take champagne into space while maintaining its integrity – that is to say, respecting its aromas, the tasting ritual and the specifications of the AOC. The Maison was the first to take an interest in the scientific constraints that the absence of gravity could pose on a gaseous liquid. To explore the possibilities, Maison Mumm called upon Octave de Gaulle, founder of SPADE, a design agency specializing in creating objects for use in space, and assembled a team of experts (engineers, researchers, astronauts and oenologists) to work alongside him.

Driving this exceptional scientific adventure forward, Maison Mumm worked in close collaboration with Jean-François Clervoy (French ESA astronaut, veteran of three NASA space missions) and Gérard Liger-Belair (professor at the University of Reims, a world-renowned researcher specializing in the physiochemistry of the effervescence of champagne). With their knowledge of the dynamics of fluids and capillary action, they were able to understand the terrestrial behaviors of Mumm Grand Cordon champagne.

They faced many challenges: without the effects of gravity, the main difficulties were expelling the liquid from the bottle, capturing it once it came out and finally, how to drink it. To help solve these questions, professor Liger-Belair made twenty years of research related to the creation of bubbles in champagne available to Maison Mumm. He also led a study to predict the behavior of champagne in zero gravity.

SPADE worked on a prototype for the bottle based on theories put forward by the two scientific experts on the team to create several models which were tested in realistic conditions during three parabolic flights between April 2017 and February 2018.

A High-Tech Design

At this level of innovation, every element is essential, starting with materials which, for some, could impact the flavor, the expulsion of carbon dioxide or even the formation of bubbles in the wine.

SPADE selected the glass, the aeronautical-grade aluminum and the stainless steel (the same metal found in the assembly vats at Mumm Grand Cordon in Reims) for their ability to adhere to complex specifications. The double cavity of the glass bottle, the mechanized system contained within it, the ring mounted on the cork and the unique tapered-stem glasses were all carefully considered to reproduce the terrestrial tasting ritual as loyally as possible.

New Taste Sensations

It is in the extreme conditions of zero gravity that Mumm Grand Cordon takes on new, surprising taste characteristics and unexpected sensations in the mouth. Wine exits the bottle as a foam to be inhaled, rather than sipped. This emulsion then turns to liquid, which coats the palate and tongue as capillary action takes effect. “By releasing the power of Pinot Noir, the weightlessness concentrates and intensifies Mumm Grand Cordon’s signature style. The expression of fruit is more accomplished than it is on Earth,” explained Raimonds Tomsons, Best Sommelier in Europe 2017, who also participated in the first official zero-gravity tasting of Mumm Grand Cordon Stellar in Reims.

A Pioneering Spirit

Innovation and daring have been integral to Maison Mumm since its foundation. Exploring new territories like space was a big challenge but one that the Maison took on with passion. “Maison Mumm likes to push the boundaries and has been a leader in its field ever since its foundation. As such, Maison Mumm is a natural supporter of both the pioneers of yesterday and those of the future. In 1904, Maison Mumm was present on board with Commander Jean-Baptiste Charcot to celebrate the first successful French expedition to the Antarctic. Tomorrow, Maison Mumm will accompany passengers to space on this unique adventure,” said Pierre Bérard, Global Marketing Director.

This project goes far beyond the bounds of the Maison. It not only allows the wine to be revealed differently but ensures that champagne is part of the future of space exploration with the advent of space tourism and the first commercial suborbital flights. Beyond champagne, Maison Mumm has made a considerable contribution of the behavior and the tasting of fizzy drinks in space, opening up new horizons.

Dare, win and celebrate

Pushing the boundaries of possibility, daring, taking on challenges and looking ahead are both what this innovation represents for Maison Mumm, and what has always driven it – just like Usain Bolt, the Maison’s C.E.O. (Chief Entertainment Officer) since 2016. Usain Bolt was, of course, present in Reims, alongside the Mumm, for this momentous occasion. During the parabolic flight, he discovered the pleasures of champagne in zero gravity, before returning to Earth to celebrate, during a one of a kind party in the Mumm cellars.